Storms cause power outages across area

Severe thunderstorms rolled into the Augusta region Wednesday night, knocking out power to more than 50,000 customers and felling trees and streetlights.

Georgia Power Co. had 46,500 customers in Richmond, Columbia and McDuffie counties without power at 10:30 p.m., spokeswoman Christy Ihrig said.

Steve Chalker of Jefferson Energy Cooperative said 9,500 customers in Richmond, Columbia, Burke and McDuffie counties were without power at 10:30 p.m. He said he could not say when power would be restored.

The storms have knocked out power for nearly 3,800 SCE&G customers, according to the outage map on the company's Web site that was last updated at 10:15 p.m.

SCE&G spokesman Eric Boomhower said crews were expected to begin work on restoring power overnight.

Lt. Robbie Silas with Richmond County Emergency Management said several side streets had debris on them, and many power lines or trees were hanging low.

Silas said a tree fell and crushed a patrol car on Milledgeville Road, but the officer in the vehicle was not hurt. Emergency management officials said traffic lights were out on Washington Road, as well as on U.S. Highway 25 southbound from Tobacco Road.

Columbia County Emergency and Operations reported multiple power outages, downed trees and transformers, and small fires caused by the storms.

Deputy Director Rusty Welsh said reports included power outages on Louisville Road near Lanette Lane and in Appling, Spring Lakes and Grovetown, as well as trees down on Gibbs Road in Evans and in the Pleasant Run subdivision.

Staff Writers Bianca Cain, Susan McCord and Bill Norton contributed to this article.

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